Nina Muirhead

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

Dr Nina Muirhead is a British specialist surgeon in dermatology who has myalgic encephalomyelitis.[1] She is a graduate of Oxford University, UK, and has written a number of popular medical textbooks.[2] Dr Muirhead educates other doctors about ME/CFS and is part of Forward-ME, a group of UK charities and advocates for people with ME/CFS.[3][4]

Dr Nina Muirhead Dr Nina Muirhead, CFS/ME Research Collaborative Conference, 2018
Eighteen months ago, after seeing thirteen different doctors and undergoing multiple tests and investigations, not only was I given a diagnosis of a condition that I didn’t know about or understand, it was an illness I didn’t believe in. — Dr Nina Muirhead, Royal College of Physicians, 2019

Early career[edit | edit source]

After medical training at Oxford University, which did not involve any training about ME/CFS, Dr Muirhead began to specialize in surgery, initially plastic surgery.[2] She also became involved in training medical students, co-authoring several textbooks for medical students, and holding training sessions on Anatomy study weekends at the Royal Society of Medicine.[5] Dr Muirhead then began to specialize in dermologic surgery, especially cutting out cancers.[5]

Illness[edit | edit source]

In an interview with Gary Burgess, Nina Muirhead described experiencing a number of different illnesses in a short space of time, and trying to continue her busy life including carrying out surgery, looking after her two young children, continuing to exercise and socialize. After attempting to push through despite symptoms, she eventually deteriorated to the point where she struggled to walk and felt no longer safe to operate, and took time off work.[5] After her ME became severe, Dr Muirhead spent several months being nursed by her parents, with neurological, sensory and cognitive symptoms that she thought might indicate some kind of brain tumor or Multiple Sclerosis.[5] She was initially diagnosed with glandular fever, then ME. Although her health has improved significantly, Dr Muirhead still has ME, and has is forced to severely limit her working hours, and has experienced several failed returns to work.[5] Dr Muirhead found that pacing did help her, especially doing tasks on different days and not working consecutive days, as well as anti-viral treatment, and vitamin B12 injections.[2][5]

ME Advocacy[edit | edit source]

Dr Muirhead has given a number of presentations about ME/CFS to doctors and health professionals, based on her own experiences and current medical knowledge, including a presentation shown at the 71st World Health Assembly.[2] She has taken part in a Q&A session with the general public after screenings of the film Unrest, which documents patients' experiences with myalgic encephalomyelitis.[4]

Dr Muirhead is currently assessing the degree and nature of teaching that UK medical schools are providing their medical students about ME/CFS, and is planning to develop electronic training on ME/CFS which could be provided to medical schools.[2] She is a heavily critical of the biopsychosocial model of ME/CFS, the UK's current NICE guidelines, and does not see any psychological factors as relevant to the illness ME/CFS. She is also critical of the deconditioning theory, and the assumptions of "exercise phobia".[2] She believes biomedical research will deliver promising breakthroughs in ME/CFS in the next few years, and highlights the newer biomedical research findings, including findings on the significance of ATP.[2]

Study PRN CPD Accredited Online course - Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Dr Muirhead has created an accredited online course for Health Care Professionals.

Talks and interviews[edit | edit source]

Articles and blogs[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

Online presence[edit | edit source]

  • PubMed
  • Facebook
  • YouTube

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Muirhead Nina". Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Muirhead, Nina (2018). "The Views of a Doctor with ME on Educating Doctors and Medical Students about ME/CFS - #CMRC2018". Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  3. CFS/ME Research Collaborative Conference (2018). "CMRC programme 2018" (PDF).
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Unravel the science behind M.E at 'Unrest' screening and talk at the UPP". Science Oxford. January 26, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 The ME Show (March 17, 2019). "The ME Show podcast Episode Eight - Dr Nina Muirhead". 2. Interviewed by Gary Burgess. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  6. Muirhead, Nina (2019), "Do you really believe in ME?", Royal College of Physicians